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A couple of nights ago we ate out at a casual restaurant. It was a treat to go, because we have really been trying to keep our food costs down. DH was given a gift card for $50, and we decided to go out as a family I stead of leaving the kids with a sitter. So as our server was waking toward us with the check, DH and I guessed the amount we thought dinner was going to cost. I guessed about $65, while DH guessed $60. The check totalled $48.67. DH looked over the bill and saw that the server didn't charge us for our drinks. It got me thinking about how the restaurant felt about this practice. This happens often, and as a person with a big family it does help out a lot. But as a business owner, I'm not sure how I'd feel about not charging for sodas. It does add up. DH and I talked a little a out it, wondering whether the comp allowed families to eat out more often in the long run, making it better for business. What do you think?

Today we were out and decided to grab a slice of pizza each at a week old restaurant that sells by the slice or by the pie. When we got to the register, I noticed a sign that said, "If you want water, you can purchase a bottle of water for $1.00. We no longer offer tap water, and you can thank those who were filling their complimentary cup of 'water' with soda." At the soda fountain another sign read, "Please use only the blue Pepsi cup that you purchased. Do not fill up cups you brought from home or your child's sippy cup." I found the wording of the signs to be a little over the top and offensive. My first instinct was to leave, even though I had no intention to steal their soda. What do you think of these signs?

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As a former business owner, I understand the sentiment of the signs... but it was expressed in the wrong way.

 

As far as complimentary drinks go... if it's policy, fine. If it's an employee "deciding" not to charge you drinks, because s/he thinks they are overpriced it's theft. (kind of like an employee passing their 30% discount to all of their "friends." I'm not talking about the employee buying a gift, or even something for their family members... but literally TELLING their friends that if they shop while they are working, they will pass on their employee discount, even after they signed the employee handbook explicitly stating this is against company policy).

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Of the restaurant, I've always had to pay for drinks. Often I've had to pay for refills.

 

As for the signs, well, they pretty much state the fact of the matter. Obviously there have been enough unscrupulous people stealing soda. You said yourself, it adds up. I really think that people classless enough to steal the soda, probably need a tacky sign.

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Well, we usually order water when we are out (DH and I might get coffee or tea, the kids may get a drink if it is included in their meal). We do this because water is what we usually drink anyway, and because I think the mark-up on beverages is absurd. I wouldn't eat someplace that charged for water. I would take my business elsewhere and make sure they knew why.

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As a former business owner, I understand the sentiment of the signs... but it was expressed in the wrong way.

 

As far as complimentary drinks go... if it's policy, fine. If it's an employee "deciding" not to charge you drinks, because s/he thinks they are overpriced it's theft. (kind of like an employee passing their 30% discount to all of their "friends." I'm not talking about the employee buying a gift, or even something for their family members... but literally TELLING their friends that if they shop while they are working, they will pass on their employee discount, even after they signed the employee handbook explicitly stating this is against company policy).

 

:iagree: The only thing I would disagree with with the signs is the sippy cup thing. Either I fill it in the sippy, or I fill their cup, and pour it in the sippy anyway, because my twins don't quite get the straws yet. Either way... it's going in the sippy. That seems like a silly rule to me, especially if it's a free refill fountain.

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Wow, that would be awesome! We've never been comped our drinks and they usually cost $3 EACH.

 

As for the signs, that is fairly typical at fast food restaurants around here. If people weren't so rude, business owners wouldn't have to be so blunt.

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As for the signs, that is fairly typical at fast food restaurants around here. If people weren't so rude, business owners wouldn't have to be so blunt.

 

Bingo. The polite signs didn't work, so this is the next option. :glare:

 

We usually go to local places, and they have no problem with us drinking water or with people stealing pop, but I see a lot of those signs when we eat someplace quick in the city.

 

I wouldn't feel right not being charged for drinks, unless I was sure it was okay with the restaurant. I waitressed through high school and college, and I worked with a fair share of other servers who would "give" people free items in hopes of better tips. It's theft.

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Lately when we go out to sit down restaurants, we tell our kids ahead of time that they can drink water only. Drink prices at sit-down restaurants are outrageous, and I resent paying an additional $10-$13 just so the four of us can drink soda.

 

We were at a fast food restaurant a few weeks ago, and while dh ordered a drink, I ordered water. They wanted to charge me for it, so I said forget it. That's their prerogative (as is their choice of words on their signs), but it's not a practice that will make me think, "Hey, let's go back there again!"

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My Son in law is a manager at a restaurant. We have talked endlessly about different restaurant practices. He said that often times servers will decide not to charge the patrons for something ( drinks, dessert, in his case salads) as it is not easily tracked thru the restaurant system. They in turn feel they increase the odds they will get better tips.

Most of those servers eventually get caught in their own game and end up fired. So be ware..if your server is not charging you for something she should be,it might be a mistake, but then again she might be looking for a bigger tip.

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We were at a fast food restaurant a few weeks ago, and while dh ordered a drink, I ordered water. They wanted to charge me for it, so I said forget it. That's their prerogative (as is their choice of words on their signs), but it's not a practice that will make me think, "Hey, let's go back there again!"

 

Does anyone else remember when at a sit down restaurant they always brought you water...without having to ask? I miss that.

 

We went to Bob Evan's a few weeks ago and I ordered coffee with my breakfast. I was still expecting a glass of water to show up, but it didn't until I finally asked for it.

 

I don't drink soda anymore, and I don't let the kids have it either. Depending on the meal and the location I have wine, a cocktail, coffee or water. I will not eat at a restaurant that charges me for water.

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When we got to the register, I noticed a sign that said, "If you want water, you can purchase a bottle of water for $1.00. We no longer offer tap water, and you can thank those who were filling their complimentary cup of 'water' with soda." At the soda fountain another sign read, "Please use only the blue Pepsi cup that you purchased. Do not fill up cups you brought from home or your child's sippy cup." I found the wording of the signs to be a little over the top and offensive. My first instinct was to leave, even though I had no intention to steal their soda. What do you think of these signs?

 

I would be inclined to leave, too, or at least not patronize that restaurant in the future. I think it's healthier to drink water, and I'd resent having to buy bottled water. But more than that, a sign like that would just rub me the wrong way. Well, I might run out to my car, where I always keep a few bottles of water just in case (just kidding, though I might at least be tempted).

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I would think that not charging for drinks would be counterproductive for the waiter. In my case, I don't always look at the receipt, and I base my tip off of the total. So, the waiter who left off four sodas would be getting a smaller tip than they would otherwise.

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:iagree: The only thing I would disagree with with the signs is the sippy cup thing. Either I fill it in the sippy, or I fill their cup, and pour it in the sippy anyway, because my twins don't quite get the straws yet. Either way... it's going in the sippy. That seems like a silly rule to me, especially if it's a free refill fountain.

I think in the original post, the sign was to deter people from filling cups from home (including sippy cups) when they did not pay for a drink in the first place. We have a couple of fast food restaurants in our area (Wendy's and Chic-fil-A) that do not have a self-serve soda fountain, probably to better control the refills, and the primary reason for that must be that it's a theft deterrent.

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I would think that not charging for drinks would be counterproductive for the waiter. In my case, I don't always look at the receipt, and I base my tip off of the total. So, the waiter who left off four sodas would be getting a smaller tip than they would otherwise.

 

Same here. And I'm not impressed by cheating waitstaff anyway. :001_smile:

 

We all order water, except that dh will drink pop sometimes. But we usually order dessert, so they get their money on us. :D We don't go out to eat very often, so we do it right.

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I've never not been charged for drinks. If I received that bill I would assume it was a mistake, that he just forgot. I think I would have told them they forgot and to please add our drinks on. If, of course, he explained that it was complimentary, then I'd accept it!

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One of my favorite restaurants here gives the wait staff discretion on comping sodas. Basically, if you order appetizers and dessert, you will probably not see your sodas on your check. BUT it is not a written policy... and the wait staff there are not thieves, management encourages it with high checks.

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Of the restaurant, I've always had to pay for drinks. Often I've had to pay for refills.

 

As for the signs, well, they pretty much state the fact of the matter. Obviously there have been enough unscrupulous people stealing soda. You said yourself, it adds up. I really think that people classless enough to steal the soda, probably need a tacky sign.

 

You have a point, but do you think that after being in business for only seven days, they need to be so blunt?

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:iagree: The only thing I would disagree with with the signs is the sippy cup thing. Either I fill it in the sippy, or I fill their cup, and pour it in the sippy anyway, because my twins don't quite get the straws yet. Either way... it's going in the sippy. That seems like a silly rule to me, especially if it's a free refill fountain.

 

But it's "free" only if you paid for the number of drinks you are taking, yk? I am guessing the intent of the sippy cup is for people who fill the sippy cup but haven't purchased a corresponding cup for the sippy kid.

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But it's "free" only if you paid for the number of drinks you are taking, yk? I am guessing the intent of the sippy cup is for people who fill the sippy cup but haven't purchased a corresponding cup for the sippy kid.

 

:iagree: Exactly... just like sharing drinks that come with free refills is stealing on the part of the second person drinking it.

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One of my favorite restaurants here gives the wait staff discretion on comping sodas. Basically, if you order appetizers and dessert, you will probably not see your sodas on your check. BUT it is not a written policy... and the wait staff there are not thieves, management encourages it with high checks.

 

I worked at a restaurant where I was essentially told not to ring up any sodas until right before I handed over the check. The soda lines were awful and about half the customers complained about it. The managers didn't want the trouble of coming over to remove sodas from half of the checks, so the policy was the wait till the end to ring it up. I'm sure I forgot to add the drinks on a few checks during my time there, but it wasn't because I expected any sort of compensation for it.

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Comped items should still show up on the check. You will see the item charged and see the charged subtracted. I think servers might forget to ring up the drinks because drinks are usually dealt with right away, KWIM? We've had this happen and we point it out. We've either gotten a grateful "thanks for telling me" or "don't worry about it".

 

Regarding the STOP STEALING signs: The signs might be rude but it stinks that the signs are needed. People just don't seem to care about or recognize stealing in certain situations. I've overheard adults tell each other 'don't order soda just use a water cup'.

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Well, we usually order water when we are out (DH and I might get coffee or tea, the kids may get a drink if it is included in their meal). We do this because water is what we usually drink anyway, and because I think the mark-up on beverages is absurd. I wouldn't eat someplace that charged for water. I would take my business elsewhere and make sure they knew why.

:iagree:

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Does anyone else remember when at a sit down restaurant they always brought you water...without having to ask? I miss that.

 

We went to Bob Evan's a few weeks ago and I ordered coffee with my breakfast. I was still expecting a glass of water to show up, but it didn't until I finally asked for it.

 

I don't drink soda anymore, and I don't let the kids have it either. Depending on the meal and the location I have wine, a cocktail, coffee or water. I will not eat at a restaurant that charges me for water.

 

I do remember being served water without having to ask for it. I prefer not to be served water automatically in this stage of life; it means there will be fewer accidents at the table :tongue_smilie:

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I would be inclined to leave, too, or at least not patronize that restaurant in the future. I think it's healthier to drink water, and I'd resent having to buy bottled water. But more than that, a sign like that would just rub me the wrong way. Well, I might run out to my car, where I always keep a few bottles of water just in case (just kidding, though I might at least be tempted).

 

At this restaurant there was a sign on the door stating that no outside food or drinks were allowed :confused:

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At this restaurant there was a sign on the door stating that no outside food or drinks were allowed :confused:

 

I see that type of sign frequently. I've seen some with addendum "formula and baby food are fine" or something like that... I know a place with cheerios on the menu for the toddlers!!!

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In my experience, that particular sign is fairly common/standard/routine.

 

I have to agree with it.

 

Oh I agree with it as well. Just not in this case. If I wanted tap water, the restaurant wasnt willing to serve it, nor was I allowed to bring it in for free. My only option was to buy the bottled water for $1 or a cup for $2. That doesn't seem right to me. But I guess I can thank those in that community who choose to steal soda. And that area happens to be a pretty affluent area. Median income is about $125,000.

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I just remembered a sign at our local Wendy's.... Something to the tune of "Refills for this visit only; do not bring in a cup from a previous visit". It would have NEVER occurred to me to save cups, and bring them back in. Guess it must to some, or there wouldn't be a sign.

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I'm trying to remember the last time I went to a sit-down restaurant that didn't bring water to the table?

 

Do most places really not do that anymore?

 

We don't eat out much anymore, but Bob Evans, Denny's and Eat-n-Park don't automatically serve water here. When I was younger Bob Evans and Denny's always did. I went to Eat-n-Park for the first time in my life last year. Our favorite local restaurant, an Italian grill, and the local fancy Mexican restaurant didn't bring water either.

 

All of the restaurants I have ever worked in served water right after you were seated.

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We don't eat out much anymore, but Bob Evans, Denny's and Eat-n-Park don't automatically serve water here. When I was younger Bob Evans and Denny's always did. I went to Eat-n-Park for the first time in my life last year. Our favorite local restaurant, an Italian grill, and the local fancy Mexican restaurant didn't bring water either.

 

All of the restaurants I have ever worked in served water right after you were seated.

 

I wonder if it's a regional thing. Sit down restaurants here always serve water. Unless it is an Asian restaurant. You often to have to ask for it and even then it is brought to you immediately.

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I'm trying to remember the last time I went to a sit-down restaurant that didn't bring water to the table?

 

Do most places really not do that anymore?

A few years ago dh and I went to visit his aunt and uncle in Colorado. I don't know if there is normally a water shortage there, or if it was just that particular year. They said they can only water the grass during certain hours (and many homes had a significant portion of their yard landscaped with rocks to reduce the amount of grass). They asked us to turn off the water during showers while shampooing.

 

They told us that at the restaurants water is not automatically served, only if you ask for it. I was so unused to it that I asked for water, just because I was used to having the water there. Duh--I don't normally drink more than a sip or so of water at restaurants, if that. And that's all I drank of that water (I had also ordered a soda). I did feel like I was wasting it and wished I hadn't ordered it. Since then, I've noticed that not a lot of restaurants around here give water automatically. I think it saves money by not having to wash extra dishes also. We have a couple of all-you-can-eat buffets here (one is a pizza place, one is regular american buffet), and they no longer offer trays for the same reason.

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Oh I agree with it as well. Just not in this case. If I wanted tap water, the restaurant wasnt willing to serve it, nor was I allowed to bring it in for free. My only option was to buy the bottled water for $1 or a cup for $2. That doesn't seem right to me. But I guess I can thank those in that community who choose to steal soda. And that area happens to be a pretty affluent area. Median income is about $125,000.

 

You will find that honesty and integrity are not usually related to income. :001_smile:

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I'm trying to remember the last time I went to a sit-down restaurant that didn't bring water to the table?

 

Do most places really not do that anymore?

 

Here they stopped doing so during the last drought. But, if one person at the table orders water, then everyone gets water.

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Here they stopped doing so during the last drought. But, if one person at the table orders water, then everyone gets water.

 

 

Same here. Two years ago when our drought was at its worst, they found restaurants used a ton of water. It wasn't just the water that went into the glass that was the problem, it was the ice machines and the dishwashing required for the glasses of water that many people didn't even want. So, restaurants around here began to ask first before bringing it.

 

I read recently that restaurants are trying so hard to keep prices down ("$5.99 Lunch Deal!") even though their food costs have been rising. The way they are making it is through soda purchases. I have noticed a glass of tea costs double what it did just a few years ago. Tea probably costs $0.05 a glass and I'm getting charged $2.00-$2.50. When the economy started to tank, more and more people began ordering water with their meals and restaurant owners began to see profits sliding even more. They compensated by raising the prices of drinks even higher. So, honestly, I feel for the owners and the very dishonest filling of water cups with soda. But, I think it's less about how much that soda costs him and more about how much money he is losing because people aren't ordering soda.

 

And regarding the person who is closing after 12 years... are they eligible to receive unemployment benefits? I have wondered if many of the self-employed who are out of work get counted when we hear numbers of those filing for unemployment. :glare:

 

Margaret

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A couple of nights ago we ate out at a casual restaurant. It was a treat to go, because we have really been trying to keep our food costs down. DH was given a gift card for $50, and we decided to go out as a family I stead of leaving the kids with a sitter. So as our server was waking toward us with the check, DH and I guessed the amount we thought dinner was going to cost. I guessed about $65, while DH guessed $60. The check totalled $48.67. DH looked over the bill and saw that the server didn't charge us for our drinks. It got me thinking about how the restaurant felt about this practice. This happens often, and as a person with a big family it does help out a lot. But as a business owner, I'm not sure how I'd feel about not charging for sodas. It does add up. DH and I talked a little a out it, wondering whether the comp allowed families to eat out more often in the long run, making it better for business. What do you think?

Today we were out and decided to grab a slice of pizza each at a week old restaurant that sells by the slice or by the pie. When we got to the register, I noticed a sign that said, "If you want water, you can purchase a bottle of water for $1.00. We no longer offer tap water, and you can thank those who were filling their complimentary cup of 'water' with soda." At the soda fountain another sign read, "Please use only the blue Pepsi cup that you purchased. Do not fill up cups you brought from home or your child's sippy cup." I found the wording of the signs to be a little over the top and offensive. My first instinct was to leave, even though I had no intention to steal their soda. What do you think of these signs?

 

Cindy,

 

 

I am not reading anyone else's responses so forgive me if I repeat what others have said.

 

1. I would have told the waitress about the undercharge.

 

2. I HATE purchasing drinks at a restaurant. There are 5 of us..it can easily be over $12 at a casual sit-down restaurant for drinks. Now that the kids are past the kids meal w/drink include stage, they ususally get water. DH & I always get water...and alcohol, for.get.it. I can buy a flask of liquor and a gallon of a mixer for the cost of a mixed drink. It's crazy!

 

2B. Sometimes I buy an appetizer that I wouldn't normally buy if the kids don't get drinks. It is cheaper than the drinks, usually by about $5.

 

3. I LOVE those signs. I don't steal pop at fast food places so the signs wouldn't bother me at all.

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The last few times I've been out to eat the waitress offered "to go" cups when we were ready to leave. So not only had she refilled out cups while eating but brought us huge styrofoam cups freshly filled to the top with soda after we were finished. I felt bad about this even though I didn't ask for it but I went with it since it was a warm day and we had some errands to run on the way home. Even then, I didn't finish it before it got gross. I wonder why they do that? If it's a regular part of business to give drinks on the way out the door, why not give us the disposable cups to begin with instead of having to wash our dinner glasses later? Seems like such a waste of energy and money.

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The last few times I've been out to eat the waitress offered "to go" cups when we were ready to leave. So not only had she refilled out cups while eating but brought us huge styrofoam cups freshly filled to the top with soda after we were finished. I felt bad about this even though I didn't ask for it but I went with it since it was a warm day and we had some errands to run on the way home. Even then, I didn't finish it before it got gross. I wonder why they do that? If it's a regular part of business to give drinks on the way out the door, why not give us the disposable cups to begin with instead of having to wash our dinner glasses later? Seems like such a waste of energy and money.

 

That reminds me!

 

I was at Red Robin which offers unlimited fries and free refills. I saw a table that had stopped eating for quite a few minutes ask for refills on the fries and their drinks. As soon as the refills were brought, they asked for to-go boxes and cups.

 

I was surprised. It seemed greedy (on the part of the customers) to me. Sorry to "judge" but it did. It seemed like their intention was specifically to take more food home.

 

The drinks were like those "specialty lemonades."

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That reminds me!

 

I was at Red Robin which offers unlimited fries and free refills. I saw a table that had stopped eating for quite a few minutes ask for refills on the fries and their drinks. As soon as the refills were brought, they asked for to-go boxes and cups.

 

I was surprised. It seemed greedy (on the part of the customers) to me. Sorry to "judge" but it did. It seemed like their intention was specifically to take more food home.

 

The drinks were like those "specialty lemonades."

 

I've seen that happen too but at Golden Corral when they still brought dinner rolls to the table. People would have the waitress bring a fresh basket and then scoop them all up to take home. :001_huh: On the other hand, more than once I've had waitresses offer to top off our drinks before leaving. I would never ask though. It would feel too wrong and greedy. Why do people like us feel that way but others don't? Human nature is a very curious thing to me.

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I've seen that happen too but at Golden Corral when they still brought dinner rolls to the table. People would have the waitress bring a fresh basket and then scoop them all up to take home. :001_huh: On the other hand, more than once I've had waitresses offer to top off our drinks before leaving. I would never ask though. It would feel too wrong and greedy. Why do people like us feel that way but others don't? Human nature is a very curious thing to me.

I have no problem with getting refills before I leave. After all, I paid for bottomless, part of the cost is the idea that you will get more than one and in most cases we have a good hour drive before we get home. I've never done a doggy bag at GC, I did not know they offered that. Having had their dinner rolls, I could see asking to take some home. Their rolls are great :p

 

While you see wrong and greedy, I see "get your money's worth." Now, I'm not going to hoard food, or gulp down my drinks, or stuff myself, but I will refill once before I go and next time I go to GC I may ask for a bag ;) When you're stretching pennies till they scream for mercy it seems wasteful and wrong not to, after all they can't re-serve the rolls once they've hit your table.

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In my experience, that particular sign is fairly common/standard/routine.

 

I have to agree with it.

 

I have never seen a "no outside food" sign. With a child who is allergic to almost every single food and spice that exists, taking her food into a restaurant is a very normal thing for us. There are only a handful of restaurants that can accommodate her needs. All of our restaurants here are happy to have our business. They do not care if one of us cannot eat their food. I do have her purchase her drink there. We sometimes want to eat somewhere other than McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Pal's (where you can only drive thru), or P.F. Chang's.

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I have never seen a "no outside food" sign. With a child who is allergic to almost every single food and spice that exists, taking her food into a restaurant is a very normal thing for us. There are only a handful of restaurants that can accommodate her needs. All of our restaurants here are happy to have our business. They do not care if one of us cannot eat their food. I do have her purchase her drink there. We sometimes want to eat somewhere other than McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Pal's (where you can only drive thru), or P.F. Chang's.

I've been to lots of restaurants with that sign and they've never cared that I brought special food for my youngest (when he was still working his way up to grown-up food). I'm pretty sure the sign is there to keep people from flashing labels of other restaurants, not to inhibit the enjoyment of folks with allergies or their families.

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Cindy,

 

1. I would have told the waitress about the undercharge.

 

 

:iagree: I think she did it to you as a "favor" hoping to get a nice tip. I would have pointed out the "error" and insisted on paying for my drinks. Only kid's meal drinks are included at most restaurants. We usually get water too since soda isn't good for you or cheap.

 

The signs wouldn't bother me. I have too much sympathy for the restaurant owner. I was at a subway once that we pretty busy. I sat in my chair and watch person after person walk in, walk streight to the soda fountain and fill a giant - not subway- cup and leave. The order and pay line were so long the store employees couldn't even see these people. It's terrible the amound of theft that occurs and business owners have to do what they have to do. You'd get sour too if every third person were trying to steal from you.

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Though it was possibly a mistake, the waiter may have left off your drinks hoping you would put at least some of the money toward the tip. It's a common way for wait staff to steal from a restaurant. People especially do it with alcoholic beverages. Did you tell him of the "oversight"?

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Though it was possibly a mistake, the waiter may have left off your drinks hoping you would put at least some of the money toward the tip. It's a common way for wait staff to steal from a restaurant. People especially do it with alcoholic beverages. Did you tell him of the "oversight"?

 

Once again, I'm convinced I live in "Opposite World." Around here, the owners are the ones usually doing it. In fact, it happened last night. The owner refilled my dh's Guiness while our waiter was busy, and it wasn't on our check. Dh pointed it out, and the owner was nearby. He came over and gave my husband a :confused: look, and said, "That was on the house! Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

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